A Bother no Longer – Chapter 4
A Precarious Predicament
Pop rolled his eyes back and forth, looking at the sailors holding a cutlass sword to his belly. Willie and Drew were still hiding up in the rowboat. Peeking down in disbelief at the situation that they had found themselves, they fearfully whispered of a way to try and save Pop, and escape. The Commodore then shook his fist, and cried out in anger…
“Three years I’ve been bound to these two creatures, and for three years I’ve searched for the mutinous Shrew that left me chained, and cast adrift! And now, I have you! And now, I will ask one more time… where… is… the key?”
Retired from his service, Pop was now thinking back to a time years ago, when he was the Captain of this very ship, and Commodore Pratt had come aboard with his first and second mates. Taking control, the Commodore became a cruel and heartless Commander. He worked the crew like slaves, and laid out harsh punishments for his own pleasure.
To save his men, Captain Shrew led a mutiny. He had the Commodore and his mates chained together, put in a small boat with food and water, and set off toward the homeland. Never expecting his return, or their legs still bound together all these years later.
The lock and chains were made by the ships Smith, who alone could open the lock, or cut the hardest of steel. And the locksmith, (who was the drunken, careless sort) had fallen overboard and was lost at sea.
When the gag was pulled from the mouth of Pop, he immediately cried out… “I can’t remember after these years! I don’t have the key! I swear I don’t have it!”
Just then, a thought had come to Drew. His mind went back to the wood shed, and the key that he had found hanging there. The key that now hung… around his neck! He pulled it out from under his shirt, and held it up for his Granddad to see. Then, Pop rolled his eyes again and wondered just how they would escape this precarious predicament.
Suddenly, a great wind arose, and lightening crashed in the distance. The ships sails swelled as the skies darkened and began to swirl. Sailors dashed about the deck and climbed the rigging to batten down the ship, as they were about to be hit by a Chinese typhoon!
“Up with the anchor!” shouted the Commodore. “And steer a course northeast toward the Isle of Zug! We’ll leave the Shrew tied to the yardarm, and let the storm refresh his memory!”
Then he pointed at Pop, and looked deeply into his eyes. “I WILL have the key from you Shrew,” he said. “Then YOU shall be chained to the foulness of these two… on the worst of island prisons!”
And with that, the Commodore turned and walked back toward his cabin, still anchored to his first and second mates, his cruel and unchanged heart, and… the worst of stink.
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